Newborn screening is not new in the United States and other parts of the world. Basic screening of infants dates back to the 1960s and is presently required on all infants born in the State of Nebraska. However, additional screens are now offered to help detect and more readily treat other health conditions. The additional testing is at no charge and is done with the same blood collected for the basic screens. The advanced screening is done upon parental consent before the infant leaves the hospital.
Hearing loss is a common, major birth defect. If left undetected, hearing loss may create speech, language and, cognitive developmental delays. The hearing test is a safe procedure that is done when the baby is asleep or quiet. Early detection of hearing loss along with early intervention and treatment can help the child with communication, language, and educational development. All babies are tested before they leave the hospital and results are given to the parents immediately.